Categories
Faith Glory Holy Spirit Kingdom of God Lessons Prayer Spiritual Warfare

Running My Race

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Running my race. Sometimes I do well; too often I do not.

I have recently, again and again, fallen short of the Glory of God.

I am a sinner.

I have hurt others, and I have been hurt by Christians I look up to and admire. And I have used that as an excuse to sin even more.

How did all this happen, I wonder. Maybe you wonder, too. Well, it was all too easy.

A lot of it happened through social media. Through the news. And most terribly – in my own heart.

Friends I admire and look up to would send me jokes about democrats, and I would laugh – some of them were really funny. And some of these were not just funny, some were also quite nasty.

Other friends would send me descriptions of religious republicans and the twisted things some of them are encouraging, and I would agree.

Friends from different parties would send me news articles. Too often full of truths that make my heart recoil. And too often — one sided or twisted versions of events. And I would agree for a while, before I saw more broadly and inclusively.

Friends with high ideals and good reasons sending me twisted, one sided, soul shrinking propaganda. And I would read and agree for a while. Until….

Everybody has good reasons. Too often amplified beyond reason – the kind of thing that gives opportunity to unclean spirits. Too often twisted, to make a point. Too often so one-sided as to be sinful in themselves, yet very convincing.

And here I am, a well meaning feckless chameleon; first agreeing with this and seeing it clearly. Then agreeing with that, and seeing that clearly. Boy, talk about being double-minded. I’m an expert. A friend tells me the Greek literally means two-minded, a person with two minds – actually two souls.

I have lost all sense of proportion and of the larger picture: I am bound by love, previous repentance, and duty to a King and Kingdom that is at hand: Immanuel and his Kingdom. How often do I forget the Good News of the Kingdom? Too often.

I get caught up being for this or for that; or against this and against that. As though these were my first allegiance. I forget Whose I am.

I have sinned. Repeatedly. Forgetting Whose I am, forgetting the Kingdom and Immanuel. My first allegiance. I am ashamed.

So I again repent and ask for more of Holy Spirit. For help to live not for what I eat or drink but for righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Putting the Kingdom first.

Lord, help me be a beneficial influence in the culture that surrounds me, influence, share and spread the Kingdom of God. And to do this first, before and more strongly and with more skill, love and determination – than any good thing I do in well intentioned and wordly politics. Help me follow Holy Spirit so well and so much that I am full of Fruit of the Spirit. Love, self-control, kindness, patience…and control my tongue.

The Untamable Tongue

My brethren, (A)let not many of you become teachers, (B)knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For (C)we all stumble in many things. (D)If anyone does not stumble in word, (E)he is a[a]perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 [b]Indeed, (F)we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.Even so (G)the tongue is a little member and (H)boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And (I)the tongue is a fire, a world of [c]iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it (J)defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [d]nature; and it is set on fire by [e]hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, (K)full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made (L)in the [f]similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a (M)fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? [g]Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Heavenly Verses Demonic Wisdom

13 (N)Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have (O)bitter envy and [h]self-seeking in your hearts, (P)do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 (Q)This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For (R)where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But (S)the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, (T)without partiality (U)and without hypocrisy. 18 (V)Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+3&version=NRSV
Categories
Calling Holy Spirit Jesus Joy Lessons

Contentment & Joy

Top 10 Contented Dogs Expressing Satisfaction

Is easy to find when we do the what is right; and is too easy to lose when we wander astray.

Want to experience more contentment and joy? Explore these ways to attain. Learn. Add your own ideas – or, best is to do as Holy Spirit guides you to do. Key is: doing what God says to do, such as:

  • Love Jesus with all your heart, strength and mind. Right now!
  • Receive the love of Jesus, which is beyond what you yet understand.
  • Let God’s love spill over to other people – through you.
  • Give thanks. Praise God. Worship our Lord.
  • Follow your calling, use your gifts.

I’m serious. Really do each one of these, one at a time. Experience deeply. Explore. Learn for yourself.

Rejoice! This is so important I’ll say it again: rejoice!

Categories
Discipleship Key Article Lessons Ministry

Context

When Jesus reaches out, everything changes

Context shapes and even controls what happens; Jesus was a master with the powerful and loving use of context. No surprise, really. But we do have much to learn from him about what he did with context.

This is a very common and too often an unrecognized issue. So much so, that when you are having repeated difficulty with an issue, it’s a good idea to examine the context. Context seems to control or limit what is likely to happen in that context.

Jesus frequently told his disciples to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. And in that context, to heal the sick and free the bound. Preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God (that is near or at hand) is a context that makes healing and freeing the bound much more easy. When people agree to be ministered to or healed, or to accept other kinds of ministry, a Learning Contract has been established.

Jesus always created what amounts to being a special kind of context for healing or for other ministry: a Learning Contract. An agreement to learn or do something that everyone agrees to implicitly or explicitly. Which creates a powerful context for successful ministry.

When Jesus came into a place, he changed the context. The atmosphere changed: he carried the Anointing and great compassion. Everyone noticed him. Such a context makes healing people and freeing the bound much easier.

You can learn to do this because you carry Jesus in you, and you are in Jesus Christ.

So practice being more and more aware of context, and good timing – which is part of a good context. Minister with greater ease and effectiveness, and celebrate the Life Jesus brings more often and even more joyously.

This is a great way to live!

Categories
Blessings Multiply Learning Lessons

Blessings are Available

Even in dark times, blessings are available. Look closely and see:

I knew a man once who, when I gave him a quick blessing, told me, “I’ve been sick for two weeks and I’ll be sick for two more!”

That scared me.

I heard and saw how easy it is to blow off blessings.

I realized I could do this too often, and I probably have.

So I made a decision that has served me well: I will accept all blessings given to me, deeply and with gratefulness.

I will not tolerate my blowing off blessings. I will instead continue to be as receptive to blessings as I can.

And to say, “Thank you!” with enthusiasm and joy. Always. And to thank Jesus.

Categories
Discipleship, Getting Help Holy Spirit Lessons Prayer

Update Your Soul Ties

God Has A Plan For You - Lesson 1

You may not have thought about this yet, but it can be a wonderful and freeing and healthy thing to do: update your soul ties.

Soul ties are your ongoing relationships with people at the level of your soul – your thoughts, feelings, emotions and such. Also included are relationships with places, institutions, groups of people – anything or anybody your soul has ties to or a relationship with. Even your health or age.

God made humans out of the dust of the earth – the body, and the breath – spirit – which when body and spirit combined, humans became living souls.

Your soul is like the dreaming part of you. In fact, it is the soul that dreams.

There are objects and people who are stable, yet plastic and changeable. A chair can become something else in a dream, to name just one example. Not as likely in the physical world, where chairs are more stable.

So here is the key idea: every time a relationship changes, it’s possible, even likely, that the soul tie needs to be updated.

Any relationship that goes through a change needs to be updated. Parents need to let their children grow up and adjust to that, rather than continue to relate to them as children. Your child, yes; but not relating to your child as a child. Children need to relate to their parents differently as you mature and as they continue to mature and age. Suffering will surely result when this is not done. Even graduation from school. Marriage. Any change in relationship. Any.

Someone dies. Relationship changes. Soul ties need adjusting. Whether a family member, friend, or pet.

Soul ties need frequent updating because relationships go through transformations. Any time a status changes, a soul tie update is a good idea.

Here’s another hint: any time there is ongoing pain through a relationship, an updating of soul ties is likely called for. Ongoing relationship pain is a clear signal: an update in soul ties is called for. Literally.

How to do such a thing? Fortunately, it turns out to be easy to do.

People who do a lot of deliverance probably prefer to ask for the blood of Jesus to help make the change. There is a place for that.

Personally, I prefer to utilize the Helper that Jesus sent us to guide and comfort us: Holy Spirit.

Ask Holy Spirit to help you update and adjust your soul ties. Any time – every time – there is a transition or change in relationship. Or when there is ongoing pain or suffering.

And when there are normal things to do that mark a transition in your culture, do them carefully, thoughtfully, and lovingly. These help too.

Easy. Simple. Just ask. Holy Spirit will do this for you with wisdom and love, and do it perfectly, too. If you wish to pray in the Spirit, this is likely a great help, too. You really cannot go wrong praying in the Spirit.

Categories
Joy Learning Lessons Love Presence of God

My Dogs Teach Me about God

Ryke Porras, at Unsplash.com

My dogs are a sign of God’s love and constant attentiveness, given by our Lord. They are like footprints left behind for me to notice and appreciate.

Usually they teach me about – and show something of – how God loves. Unconditionally. Constantly. Generously. Without judgement.

Today my most non-verbal dog (a Doberman) came while I was reading and reflecting about the other end of this – a sign of how I am to be open and receptive to being loved with great tenderness, gentleness, constant attentiveness given and receiving all of this well.

And now I know my dogs are also a sign of and a demonstration of some of God’s love, and how to receive and soak in and appreciate God’s love.

How generous, kind and loving God is to leave me such signs of him, such examples and teachers. I am filled with wonder, amazement, deep appreciation and gratefulness.

I think I will stop writing now, and just soak in this and reflect and receive being this way…I have nothing else and nothing better to be doing. Thank you, Lord!